AND CRIMINAL RECORDS
Building Stronger Pathways to Work and Reducing the Impact of Holding a Criminal Record
Holding a criminal record is one of the biggest barriers survivors face, when
forced to disclose their record, women
report marginalisation, stigma, and the pain of having to relive past experiences. In addition many employers and other services - such as schools and voluntary jobs - are reluctant to give women opportunities once convictions have been disclosed. We believe that it is crucial to remove this barrier.
Employment and other meaningful activities are essential to maintaining a life outside of the sex industry. Many women feel that their choices are extremely limited and because of gaps in their CV, as well as loss of confidence and lack of opportunity and support, women find it difficult to access these roles. We believe that true transformation is only complete when women have access to these opportunities.
Good Lives Model
We don't find it acceptable to only offer support aimed at crisi intervention and safety without seeking to help people to build a life that is postive and fulfilling for them. Simply addressing immediate needs and then leaving people without any further support leads to poorer outcomes and higher long term support needs. Besides that, we beleive that everyone has the right to a "Good Life" not just a "Life". For more about this model, see here.
Quality and Ethos
When it comes to service provision, having a label is not enough. It is the quality and ethos of the service that really makes the difference to women's lives. We encourage services to take the issue of criminal records and employment seriously, and to know and believe that every service user can overcome their barriers once they are given access to the right opportunities.
One of the most important aspects of the work that services do is to generate hope. This is essential for opening up the possibility of change in people's lives. Without hope, people simply do not make change, even when they may be very unhappy in their current situation. We encourage services to make possibility a part of their ethos, to open up conversations about women's option, and to always believe in their strengths.
These resources are specific to employment and criminal records, for resources relating to exiting services see here